FROM THE BOOK JACKET:
A primer to the critical thinking that is now more necessary than ever
We are bombarded with more information each day than the mind can process. It's raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies. One of our most trusted guides in the information age, internationally acclaimed author Daniel Levitin, shows us how to recognize misleading news stories, statistics, graphs, and websites, revealing the surprising ways lying weasels can make it so difficult to separate the wheat from the digital chaff.
How do we distinguish pseudo-facts, distortions, and falsehoods from reliable information? A Field Guide to Lies tackles misinformation in two categories: the numerical (such as mishandled statistics and graphs) and the verbal (including faulty arguments and how to distinguish experts from hacks). The field guide caps this with an overview of the scientific method, which is, after all, the bedrock of critical thinking. As Levitin illustrates, infoliteracy means understanding that there are hierarchies of source quality and bias that variously distort our information feeds via every media channel, including Facebook and Twitter. We may expect newspapers, bloggers, the government, and Wikipedia to be factually and logically correct, but they so often aren't.
Readers of A Field Guide to Lies learn to avoid the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin's charming, humorous, accessible guide can help anyone wake up to a whole lot of things that aren't so. And catch some lying weasels in their tracks.
Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, is dean of Social Sciences at the Minerva Schools at KGI in San Francisco, and a faculty member at the Center for Executive Education in the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He is the author of the international bestsellers This Is Your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs, and The Organized Mind. He divides his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles."
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